Musician Obsession

Just one song

John whistling


I have been listening to just one song for the past two weeks.  Sung by the same artist  Someone To Watch Over Me sung by the great Ella Fitzgerald.  I haven’t got bored with the song in fact my interest is intensifying.  I’m trying to remember why I chose to obsess with this song. 

As a jazz trumpeter I learned most jazz standards, the tune and how the chords sounded, not the words.  Throughout my time as a trumpet player I was often told to learn the words to truly understand each tune.  For some reason I ignored this advice.  Now I sing in care homes, with our jamming sessions, I really see the advantage of discovering the story and emotion of each song.  I’m also learning jazz standards on the guitar . . . but I’ll report back on that in 20 years.   

The opportunity to sing and scat with people living with dementia has opened up a new joyful way of being creative for me.  I started to look for other songs that people would enjoy engaging with.  It must have been here that I just clicked with Someone To Watch Over Me.  What struck me quite quickly was that I was finding the middle eight (the different bit) more of a challenge than normal to learn.  Maybe it was this that started my obsession.  I looked at the chord sequence, guitar in hand, and it was back in the case before you could say Ella. 

I blew the cobwebs out of my trumpet and a different story started to emerge.  I had done a little work on my embouchure so I didn’t sound too bad.  It felt like I was not only singing through my trumpet but telling a story.  I think the reason for my focus on this song is a mix of Ella’s voice, the tune and the fact that our jammers may like it.  Oh yeah! my jazz trumpeting had just gained another perspective.  How exciting! 

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